Friday, December 21, 2012
ABC presents "Back to the Beginning", starting at Genesis, with Amanpour; The Flood was like the biggest tsunami ever
Christiane Amanpour (who normally reports overseas for CNN) presented the first two hours of her “Back to the Beginning” subseries for ABC 20-20 Friday night on December 21.
The film started with a visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, with a mother and son from North Carolina.
But then she discusses attempts to find the location of the original Garden of Eden, which might be in southern Iraq where the marsh Arabs live today. The most important part of the documentary might be the exploration of the probability of The Flood around 5000 BC when the Mediterranean overflowed into the Black Sea (maybe after an earthquake) and flooded villages along the Black Sea up to 400 feet. Divers (who had explored the Titanic) found evidences of pottery and even buildings on the sea floor. This disaster would be the equivalent of a 400 foot tsunami today, without the water leaving. Katrina, on the other hand, flooded areas about 10 feet below sea level. Nevertheless, it sounds unlikely that the Ark could have wound up on a 16000 foot mountain in the land of the Kurds.
Amanpour then explored the possible route of Abraham, and then focused on Joseph, who insulted his brothers with his “smarts” when he told them his dreams. The documentary presented excerpts from the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, which I saw at the National Theater in 1994 (on YouTube here ). Apparently Joseph's dream geek-work impressed the Egyptian Pharaoh, who made him privileged (and an Uncle Tom) in a land where his people were enslaved. He might have been regarded as a mooch on his own people today.
The last part of the documentary looked the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt for demographic reasons, and the act of civil disobedience by a nanny that led to saving the life of Moses and his rearing in the court of the Pharaoh. There is a Nile park in Cairo that simulates what the area of Moses’s rescue might have looked like.
The scenery in the 2-hour special looked sharp in plasma high-definition. Still, "go big or go home".